Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Piper PA-18-150, N5408Y: Accidents occurred September 23, 2019 and August 19, 2016

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Anchorage

Northland Hangars LLC

NTSB Identification: GAA19CA564
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 23, 2019 in Skwentna, AK
Aircraft: Piper PA18, registration: N5408Y

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

September 23, 2019: Aircraft attempted to takeoff and flipped over.

Date: 23-SEP-19
Time: 17:43:00Z
Regis#: N5408Y
Aircraft Make: PIPER
Aircraft Model: PA18
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:  

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Palmer, AK
Accident Number: GAA16CA440
Date & Time: 08/19/2016, 1300 AKD
Registration: N5408Y
Aircraft: PIPER PA 18-150
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Nose over/nose down
Injuries:2 None 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal


According to the pilot of the tailwheel-equipped airplane, she over flew the sand bar that she wanted to land on, in order to ensure that the area was free of hazards. She reported that she executed the approach, touched down, and during the landing roll, "I hit the brakes too hard" and the airplane nosed over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the rudder and vertical stabilizer.

The pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies during the flight with any portion of the airplane that would have prevented normal flight operations.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's excessive brake application during the landing roll resulting in a nose over.


Personnel issues
Aircraft control - Pilot (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll
Abrupt maneuver
Loss of control on ground
Nose over/nose down (Defining event)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 19, Female
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 3 None
Last FAA Medical Exam: 08/12/2013
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 07/14/2016
Flight Time:   (Estimated) 120.5 hours (Total, all aircraft), 120.5 hours (Total, this make and model), 70 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 25 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PIPER
Registration: N5408Y
Model/Series: PA 18-150 A150
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1964
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 18-8171
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 11/01/2015, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1750 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4204.91 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320-A2B
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: PAAQ, 230 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 4 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 2053 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 332°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2500 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 13000 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: / None
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.17 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 10°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Chugiak, AK (PABV)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Chugiak, AK (PABV)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1300 AKD
Type of Airspace: Class G

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 61.283611, -148.446111 (est)


  1. She's young, flying in conditions that highly experienced bush pilots fly into, and she did everything right except getting toe heavy. At 19, she'll learn from this and go on. At 19 I was flying a 172 with the luxury of choosing either a 12,000x300' or 10,000x300' runway to land on at a Florida Air Force Base.

  2. Tail wheel aircraft are fraught with danger on landing. It's a proven fact. There are thousands of incidents/accidents on this site with them.

  3. Yes, much better to stick with tricycle gear.

  4. Funny, maybe the two posters above with an aversion to tailwheel aircraft should look at 11 of the 13 most recent accidents listed on Kathryns Report, all tricycle gear.

    N7894V Aircraft landed gear up.
    N400JW Aircraft landed then veered into the grass.
    N8138H Aircraft landed and veered off runway into the grass.
    N49SB Aircraft left gear collapsed on landing.
    N309BR Aircraft landed hard and then experienced propeller strike.
    N28AU Aircraft landed and taxied into fence.
    N6450B Aircraft gear collapsed on landing.
    N52WL Aircraft landed with right main gear up.
    N1216N Aircraft landed, encountered heavy crosswind, lost control and went into a field.
    N8472W Aircraft landed and veered off runway.
    N108LS Gear malfunctioned on take off.

  5. As the previous poster said, tailwheel airplanes don't have a monopoly on accidents. Tailwheel airplanes are no more "dangerous" than any other airplane. It all depends on the skill of the pilot.

    Also, the first commenter wants to excuse the pilot because she's young (19). What does *that* have to do with anything? Lots of people (myself included) learned to fly in tailwheel airplanes at ages 15 to 16 and didn't prang any airplanes, tailwheel or tricycle.

  6. "Tail wheel aircraft are fraught with danger on landing. " yeah sure... funny thing is i dont see too many tricycle gear aircraft landing on remote sandbars??? wonder why?

  7. We are inundated with pilot actions that are inconsistent with manufacturer assumptions.